Tag Archives: bookstore

53 nonfiction books about reading, bookstores, libraries, and about other books

2017-07-20

For some readers, books are objects that they care for more than any other products they have used or purchased. Other readers love to collect books and show them on bookshelves at their homes. Then, there are readers who happen to be writers as well, and tend to read in a different way than ordinary book readers.

If you are one of those book lovers who appreciate the published word so much that you are willing to read a book about books, here are some recommendations for you. Bookriot has put together a list of 53 nonfiction books about reading, libraries, bookshops, collecting, and about other books. These books are not about writing, although some of them have been written by famous authors.
Finland's National Library in Helsinki
Here are 53 nonficiton books on books according to Bookriot.

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose
The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books (and Two Not-So-Great Ones) Saved My Life by Andy Miller
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett
My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop by Ronald Rice
The Pleasure of Reading: 43 Writers on the Discovery of Reading and the Books that Inspired Them by Antonia Fraser
The Polysyllabic Spree: A Hilarious and True Account of One Man’s Struggle with the Monthly Tide of the Books He’s Bought and the Books He’s Been Meaning to Read by Nick Hornby
Ten Years in the Tub: A Decade Soaking in Great Books by Nick Hornby
The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe by Ann Morgan
Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall
At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries by Estelle Ellis
Bibliotopia: Or, Mr. Gilbar’s Book of Books & Catch-All of Literary Facts & Curiosities by Steven Gilbar
My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
The Book by Julius Friedman
Book Crush: For Kids and Teens – Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Interest by Nancy Pearl
Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason by Nancy Pearl
The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You’ll Never Read by Stuart Kelly
Where I’m Reading From: The Changing World of Books by Tim Parks
The Book on the Bookshelf by Henry Petroski
Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry
The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell
Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books by Michael Dirda
Classics for Pleasure by Michael Dirda
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller’s Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages by Michael Popek
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books by Nicholas A. Basbanes
A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel
The House of Twenty Thousand Books by Sasha Abramsky
How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen
Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home by Susan Hill
Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books by Maureen Corrigan
The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time by David L. Ulin
My Ideal Bookshelf by Thessaly La Force
My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead
The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You by Ella Berthoud
A Passion for Books: A Book Lover’s Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books by Harold Rabinowitz
Phantoms on the Bookshelves by Jacques Bonnet
Rare Books Uncovered: True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places by Rebecca Rego Barry
Read This! Handpicked Favorites from America’s Indie Bookstores by Hans Weyandt
A Reader on Reading by Alberto Manguel
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma
Ruined by Reading: A Life in Books by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books by Paul Collins
So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning
The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History by Lewis Buzbee

If you want to read an ebook that is a collection of stories published in other books, download Traveling in Scandinavia for free.

Bookriot collected a list of 47 fiction books about books as well. You may view those recommendations here.

Traveling in Europe but no books to read? Why not stay a night at a library in Paris

2017-06-07

The city of artists, authors and a few million other people – Paris – has a special hotel room waiting for travelers who like to sleep with books. Paris Boutik Hotel has rooms that are all different, designed to a theme. One of these rooms is a library. It is located in Marais district of the city.

Paris Boutik hotel room library bookstore
The library room is generous in size: 45 m2. There are books for children as well, but not for pets. Dogs or cats are not allowed in this room.

Books, on the other hand, are available in the bathroom as well, in case a guest forgot to take reading along from the bedroom or lounge.

The Paris Boutik Hotel has more information and online booking.

Via Actualitte (with more photos).

Paris Boutik hotel, books in bathroom
Paris Boutik hotel, library room

Vast majority of Europeans read at least one book a year, publishers claim

2017-03-24

The whole media industry, including books, is in fundamental transformation from traditional media to digital products. It is fascinating to follow how some parts of the world adopt new media products faster than other regions. Cultural reasons, traditions, legislation, and the book industry itself affect the pace of change. Many end-of-the-world scenarios have been presented for books that have to compete over audiences’ precious time with other media, like movies and music.

The Federation of European Publishers (FEP) has drafted a report on the state of the book business in Europe. It was published in March 2017, and one of its conclusions is that books are doing fine despite very competitive media landscape.

In many European countries, 60-80% of people read at least one book a year. Czech, Germany, Estonia, Luxembourg, Austria, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Norway having the highest share of book readers. There are some exceptions, of course, like Portugal and Romania, where residents have something else more worthwhile to do than to read books.

reads one book a year, Europe countries, by FEP
The trend that people are reading less can be seen in the statistics, but it is not the end-of-the-world kind of thing. The trend is somewhat inconsistent: Italy and Germany show an increase in the number of book readers.

The same survey reports that the number of brick-and-mortar bookstores in Europe has increased. At its peak in 2010, more than 32 275 bookstores stocked paper and ink on their shelves for customers. A rapid fall followed that bottomed in 2013 (26 766 bookstores). Since then, new stores have opened, and the number of bookstores in Europe is on the rise again.

Number of bookstores in Europe by FEP
Here is an interesting question: the number of bookstores is growing in Europe, the market share of ebooks is growing, but people read slightly less. How does it add up?

There are many ways to assess and measure how the book industry is doing. One of the most innovative analysts is Author Earnings that primarily tracks sales of large online bookstores, like Amazon, Apple iBooks, Google Play and Kobo. The February 2017 Author Earnings report indicates that 42% of all book sales in the U.S. comes from ebooks, and in the UK, ebooks are 34% of all book sales.

A report published in March 2017 by the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) states that the market share of ebooks in the UK is 17% (in 2015). That’s a huge difference: is the correct market share for ebooks 17 or 34 percent? Two factors may explain a big portion of the gap in numbers: FEP doesn’t include independent publishers and self-publishers in its statistics, whereas Author Earnings tallies up them as well. FEP gets most of its sales data from traditional booksellers, whereas Author Earnings tries its best to get accurate data from big online bookstores.

Sweden’s book city: Gothenburg

2016-12-19

Stockholm is the capital and the most populous city of Sweden, but Gothenburg on the country’s West Coast features the largest annual book show of Scandinavia. Maybe it is simply because Denmark, Germany and Norway are not far away from Gothenburg, or maybe the city has traditions in book business.
bookcrossing, slottsskogen, gothenburg, sweden, europeIn the large park of Slottsskogen near the city center you can find books on trees. It was a rainy day when the photo was taken, so someone must have saved the books from getting wet. The message on the plastic box encourages you to change your book to a new one.
bricks-and-mortar, book shop in Gothenburg
bookstore in gothenburg, sweden
Akademibokhandeln bookstore in gothenburg, sweden west coastBookstores in the city center.

book show, gothenburg, sweden.The annual Book Fair in September in Gothenburg attracts visitors and exhibitors primarily from Scandinavia, Baltic countries and Germany.

If you are planning to travel to Sweden or Gothenburg, it is worth knowing that the West Coast region next to Gothenburg is the second most popular vacation destination for Swedes. This travel guidebook covers the essential places, sights and activities in the city and the region.

How to avoid crowds at Lello (aka Harry Potter) bookstore in Porto, Portugal

2016-11-05

As a travel destination, Portugal has a lot going on at the moment. Sintra, Cascais, Lisbon, Algarve and Porto are world class destinations that attract an increasing number of visitors. One of the lucky Portuguese destinations that gets more visitors than it perhaps ever wished for is a beautiful bookstore in the city of Porto in North Portugal. The author of Harry Potter books, JK Rowling, drew inspiration from it and perhaps also used the bookstore setting as a platform for the Harry Potter world.
Lello bookstore, Porto, Portugal. Photo: Michal HuniewiczPhoto by Michal Huniewicz.

So, it seems that every tourist who arrives in Porto wants to visit the Lello shop in the city center.
Porto, Portugal, Lello bookstore
The result is that the shop is crowded. Once people discovered the store and the word spread, it has been a travel destination. The bookstore eventually became so crowded that the owners had to think of something to allow people to actually shop books and to look around, too.

They invented a scheme that works like this: outside the bookstore is a kiosk (the red kiosk in the photos) where you have to buy an entrance ticket (yes, you pay to enter a bookshop). The kiosk controls the flow of people to the store. Once you buy something, the ticket price is deducted from the total. Fair, and simple system that allows some breathing room for bookstore visitors.

lello bookstore, porto.

Visitors to the Lello bookstore have to get a ticket from the red kiosk first.

As you can see in the photos, the Harry Potter fans’ and curious visitors’ queue can be quite long to the ticket kiosk – before you even get to the bookstore. The photos were taken in September. We can only imagine how long the queue was in August and July.

How to avoid spending a long time in the queue? Arrive early in the morning. Early is a relative term, but if you hit the scene before 11 o’clock, you should be fine.

An important tip for Porto explorers: Beware of the traffic in Porto and everywhere else in Portugal. The way locals drive is very fast, dangerous and unpredictable, and it is against their religion to indicate which way they are going.

Here is where you can find the Lello bookstore:
porto, lello bookstore, map

Large bookstore reveals the secret of bestseller

2015-07-30

Even if it is only a daydream, every author dreams of writing a bestseller. Audiences would actually listen to the author’s opinions, ask for advice and there would be requests to give speeches. Everyone knows that it is roughly one in a million chance to make it. Unless there was a formula for bestsellers. Large British bookstore chain Waterstones has analyzed 100 bestseller books in order to decipher what made them successes.

Altogether, Waterstones analyzed 100 fiction books. They picked 10 books from the last 10 years. Two genres dominated the lists:
1. 35% of bestsellers are thrillers.
2. 33% of bestsellers are contemporary fiction.

Despite the huge media attention young adult and erotica/romance books have raised during the last few years, they are far behind thrillers, crime and contemporary fiction in sales.

Waterstones discovered that an author must be patient (as everyone who has tried to publish her first book via a traditional publisher knows). We might even say that practice produces a bestseller. The sweet spot for authors to make it big seems to be their 13th book.

A surprising point in Waterstones’ analysis is that the bestseller title doesn’t include verb at all. Here is the bestseller formula infographic from Waterstones.

waterstones, bestseller book formula

What about nonfiction books, what makes a nonfiction bestseller? That’s easy to answer: the book contains so valuable information that people are willing to pay for it.